In the spring of 2016 I was in the middle of completing two years worth of work (both artwork and poetry) for Terrible Beauty, an exhibition based on a childhood experience of sexual assault. After 30 years of silence it was an interesting time full of introspection, reflection and putting ghosts to rest. Two friends took me to a very special place, Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation where they rescue and place horses in permanent homes. They have a program called Horses as Healers which is an equine therapy program to help facilitate people who have been exposed to trauma. (PTSD)
I met Dante, a beautiful, larger than life Belgian work horse. This intuitive and compassionate being helped me and reminded me what it felt like to feel safe. It was an amazing experience. When I was a child I spent time around horses at my aunt’s farm. I was fascinated by them and my first art experience was drawing horses every day for years, literally I drew hundreds of pictures of horses. This day was a great reminder of my love for these majestic animals.
This spring I returned to say hello to the horses again and to spend time sketching them. It was so fun. They engaged with me and seemed happy to have the attention. I drew Dante’s head and turned the sketchbook around and he turned his head to look at it. One of the horses actually rested his muzzle at the top of my book as I drew until I finished. Horse magic. Thank you to Kristen of Serenity and of course, to the horses, especially Dante.